Saturday, December 5, 2009

Luxe on Locale

Our current age is highlighted by commercialism to the nth degree. If it's able to be sold, bought, traded, or has any sort of value - there's bound to be someone out there who is entrusted with selling, packaging, marketing, distributing, creating a jingle, a commercial, a print campaign, a radio spot, or some other innovative method of spreading the word.

With this increased advertising, suddenly everything is marketed as luxe. There's "premium coffee" and "Certified Angus Beef" available at McDonald's, "luxury cars" available at Hyundai, and "private reserve" chocolates available at your typical grocery store.

All of this "over luxe-ification" of products and services really makes me wonder "what does it really take to be luxury?"

To the true luxury client, "luxury" is characterized by any products or services that are full of value, quality, exclusivity, comfort, and convenience. Valet parking is a prime example of a "luxury service" - the convenience of not having to park your car, saving you those precious few minutes, and preventing you from exposure to possible inclement or unpleasant weather is definitely worth the small fee and tip. The same can be said for utilizing a personal shopper. While a client may have fabulous fashion sense on their own accord, they simply may not have the time to physically go out and purchase a season's worth of accessories, nor may they have the access to limited products and collections.

The main trend you'll see in the luxury market segment, whether it's a high end European home furnishings boutique, a designer denim store, or a private jet corporation, is that all of these goods and services are sold the exact same way. Extensive attention is paid to the relationship between the vendor and the client. From regular phone calls, hand written thank-you notes, and small tokens of appreciation, are all the norm. Complimentary services are often included - from elegant gift wrapping and package delivery, to free upgrades, transportation, or special opportunities.

The one currency that is accepted in the luxury world, no matter the product segment, location, country, or culture -is time. When associates and owners bestow this precious commodity upon their clients, the culture is instantly increased towards a more luxe environment. Taking time to go out of your way for a client, thanking them for their business and patronage, and letting them know that you appreciate not only their business, but their friendship, will always increase your reward handsomely. The more time you give, the stronger your relationship becomes.

And in the world of luxury, it's the relationship with your clients that mean the most. From luxury real estate, to luxury travel, to luxury retail - everyone in the luxury segment is in competition with each other. You see, even the uberwealthy client is on a budget. If they're wanting to take a trip to Paris to shop for their wife's 40th birthday, are interested in upgrading their automobile, are trying to stock the kitchen at their new vacation home, and are paying the tuition and associate expenses of their last child's college education - all of those associated markets and tasks are going to compete for the client's money and attention. It's the associate or business owner with the best relationship, who can sell the story and romance of their product/market segment, that always wins.

We all can experience a little bit of the luxe lifestyle with the LUXE City Guides. Hello Gorgeous... Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, but big enough to contain hundreds of hand-selected entries of the very best each city has to offer, LUXE City Guides are distilled from the recommendations of people who actually live in the city itself, and collated by a resident editor.

So the next time you're planning a holiday to Paris, Tokyo, Milano, or any one of more than 30 destinations, consider the advice of these amazing guides. They're small in size, but pack a huge amount of luxury. No matter where we are, we could always use a little dash of luxe on locale.

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